Making Friends in the Marketplace

Most of my personal interaction with Angolans has been in the marketplace and neighborhood. For the first few months, I tried to use my time in the market to at least have a small interaction with a few people. I must admit, when I was tired I just went and did my shopping. Very quickly I met Ana, and slowly I began to recognize a few more people – like Amelia who is one of the few fruit sellers at my market. Ana introduced me to Rita one day when I was looking for eggplants, and Rita recognized me several weeks later to begin our friendship. Then I picked out Maria to buy tomatoes from, and she gives me extra every visit, starting from the first day I introduced myself. I discovered on my second visit that her Portuguese is limited to the basic phrases she needs for work, but we still count each other as friends. I am beginning now to move a little deeper, to ask them more about their lives and to share more of mine. It is quite a journey.

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